U.S. Travel

Things I LoveU.S. TravelWining/Dining



Continuing this 2-part post from the Thanksgiving in New England (read Part 1 HERE), we had three days exploring Maine and a bit of southern New Hampshire.

From our stay Manchester, it was on to Maine via a stop for lunch in Concord, New Hampshire.  While I drive and Sam navigates (along with managing the playlist), the hubby generally does the “where to lunch” search. The Concord stop included good burgers at The Barley House, a view of the state capitol and a bit of shopping at Pitchfork Records for fans of vinyl.

Above, the capitol in Concord; below, searching for vinyl gems

From there the drive to Portland, Maine, is under two hours.  Portland not only is Maine’s biggest city, but a bustling “foodie scene” — which is always a plus.  It is well located for travel to other parts of the state and just a couple hours north of Boston.  One day it was north to Freeport (best known as LL Bean’s headquarters) and Augusta.  Another day it was south to Kennebunk and Portsmith (NH).  Clearly, one can see a lot in a relatively short period.

Below, delicious dinner at Scale’s in Portsmith — pick your seafood; arctic char; grilled bread; apple cake

Below, the only beer drinker in the family.  Fun fact:  there are more breweries per capita in Maine than any other US state. 

Below – “Marketing 101” courtesy of LL Bean                                                                     

Below, the capitol building in Augusta.

Dinner at Chaval in Portland featuring French/Spanish small plates — excellent Coq au Vin.

Below, seeing Strange World in Portsmith, NH, on Thanksgiving.  Thrilled to see Hannah’s name in the credits (again). 

Downtown Portsmith below 

Below, our travel map.  The longest route was Boston – Manchester.  Everything else was a couple of hours max.  I research everything in advance! 

And then the trip ended as it began.  The last day was back to Boston in time for spectacular pizza at Regina’s below and a rendevous with east coast cousins near Logan Airport.

So what is the “key ingredient” I teased in Part 1?  Flying home on Friday instead of Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The flight was nowhere near full, meaning empty middle seats.  I managed upgrades for the hubby and me (no cost or miles!).  American Airlines is employing new transcontinental Airbus planes and they are terrific.  Spacious, good entertainment options, and seat outlets. All pluses in my book. From landing to home was about an hour.  With checked bags.  That is unheard of.

Enjoy some previous Thanksgiving destinations via the following links (The Carolina’s, Napa, Portland-Oregon).  One fun discussion is always “where to next year.”  I’m happy to report we have a unanimous decision.  But you’ll just have to be patient to find out where.  One hint:  staying in our time zone. As always, I’m very grateful to have this family time. I hope yours was special too.

Below, the Bush family home “Walker’s Point” (viewed from the back), Kennebunkport, Maine

Things You Should KnowU.S. Travel



After 14 years of near-consecutive Thanksgiving travel, I’m happy to report we finally have the key ingredient.  But more about that later …

This year’s trip took the hubby, son Sam and daughter Hannah to Vermont and Maine with flights in and out of Boston.  Add in New York and New Hampshire to the mix as these states have very peculiar boundaries (mostly crooked).  And, yes, we knew it would be cold in answer to many queries posed to four Southern Californians as to why there and at this time of year.

No, we didn’t see fall foliage, but we did experience some snow with mostly clear and quite cool weather the rest of the time. I’ll have to do one of those fall foliage trips when baseball no longer co-ops every October (i.e., a long time from now).  The good news is one stop on the next “big spring trip” is in New Zealand, where it is the fall season in May along with spectacular foliage there.  I look forward to that!

Hannah departed a few days ahead of us to spend extra time in Boston with a dear friend. We followed suit on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  For our Boston overnight, it is clear the “North End” is absolutely thriving.  Every restaurant on Hanover Street was packed, including Bricco where we dined.  To their credit, they seated us promptly for our 9pm reservation.  People were still piling in when we left around 10:30.  Now, if we could have been spared the $30(!) valet charge.  And that’s paid upfront.  Below, perfect eggplant parm followed by seared ahi.

With Hannah rejoining us, we left Boston on Sunday for our first stop in Manchester, Vermont. The spectacular Green Mountains are a year-around destination.  The area is host to many outdoor activities, along with charming inns and restaurants, outlet stores and excellent roads.

Our snow encounter happened just prior to arriving in Manchester. Fortunately, the Nissan Rogue rental car came properly equipped and made the driving relatively easy. Our accommodations at The Kimpton Taconic Inn in Manchester were already booked when I saw it is ranked #3 of the 30 Best New England Hotels by Conde Nast Traveler.

 Above, the sitting room at the Taconic Inn

Dinner at Ye Olde Tavern in Manchester is as classic a New England spot if ever there was one .. below baked brie with apples; pumpkin soup; duck flamed tableside.

We ventured up to Burlington – Vermont’s largest city – along Lake Champlain. That was clearly the coldest day, maybe low 30’s.  Note the parking rates at the garage!  In Los Angeles, it seems like $1 per minute ..  Below, bundled up after lunch at Henry’s Diner (est. 1925).  Ever wonder what food pix look like AFTER?  We had classic diner food of course.

The photo of Lake Champlain below was taken as the sun was setting — about 4:30 pm!

Dinner at The Dorset Inn, just 10 minutes from Manchester, was a big hit. Mind you, many of the buildings date back to the 1700’s which add a great deal to their charm.  The food was delicious (as seen below):  Fennel salad with crispy shallots; Faroe Island salmon (Perhaps we were the only diners who have actually have been to the Faroes — read here); delicious carrot cake.

Stay tuned for Part 2 — there is much more to cover with lots of photos.  And, of course, the “key ingredient” will be revealed!



Things I LoveU.S. Travel


Dallas 3

A quick trip to Dallas served as time beautifully spent with longtime friends plus a short break for the hubby from the intensity of tax season.  Had fortunes worked out, we might have continued on to New Orleans for the NCAA Men’s Championship game, but our Bruins did not make it to the last round.

For this trip, a high point was visiting the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the grounds of Southern Methodist University.  The site was closed during our last visit to Dallas in October 2020 for the World Series.  That trip worked out pretty well in spite of this particular detail (to say the least — read my post here).

The entire site comprises 18 acres, 15 of which is a beautiful park.  It’s no surprise these libraries take years to build as they serve as a complete history of, in this case, eight years in office.  Everything is there, from attire worn, major events relived through archival documents and videos, interviews and some hilarious moments where “43” pokes fun at his misproununciations — most notably “strategery” and “misunderestimate.”  It is well worth a visit.

Above, a full-size replica of the Oval Office.   Below, of the many gifts on display given to the President, this one is just perfect — bowls for First Dog Barney (love the feet!)

When in Texas, one tends to savor authentic bar-b-que as we did with a return visit to Terry Black’s in Deep Ellum.  When we arrived — and when we left — the line was literally out the door, with good reason.  It’s just delicious.  Their massive smoking room shown below. The good weather allowed for walking back to the hotel and a chance to work off some of that amazing food.

If you’ve not heard, weddings are going on everywhere due to 2020/21 postponements — the most weddings in our history.   It’s been said that it is easier to find your soulmate these days than an available wedding venue.  I believe it!  There was another wedding adjacent to the one we attended at the Adolphus where we stayed.  Obviously we didn’t read the sign “Hagerman/Zeidman Wedding This Way” until we had a drink and a bite and then went to sign the guest book.  “That’s not Sarah and Mark ..” in the photo display served as the tipping point to head right.  Much later in the evening, guests were drifting back and forth to sample some snack offerings (burritos in the “other” wedding and Whataburger at the Zeidman’s) and it was all good.

The night before

As for the evening before (at The Henry) and the wedding/dinner & dancing itself, there’s nothing quite like celebrating two people who found each other after their first “attempts” didn’t work out.  Afterall, isn’t “love lovlier the second time around” as the song goes?  To Sarah and Mark, it was a great joy to celebrate your love and to be with your family – our longtime and cherished friends – on this beautiful occasion.

Above with other longtime friends (Amb. Ned & Stephanie Siegel) and the groom’s father Fred;  below the head table with gorgeous flowers.

With the groom’s mama Kay Zeidman


Mr & Mrs Zeidman!
International TravelThings I LoveU.S. Travel


2022 image a

As has become my custom, I end the current year and begin the new year with both a wrap up and a forecast.  Planned travel is something that required fluidity in the last two years, at least if one wants to remain sane.  Practically the only thing for sure is that some aspect of a plan might change.  Following is the 2021 recap, for which travel I am extremely thankful.  Click on each destination heading for the various posts.


International ::




Domestic ::







The big post-tax-season trip starts in Iceland followed by Norway & Sweden (traversing the southern areas by car).  From Stockholm, we fly to St. Petersburg as a visa snafu ejected us from Russia after our 2018 Moscow visit. The Russians are very serious about their visas.  After that, we meet up with our kids to enjoy Florence and Venice (they start in Rome and end in Milan).  This family trip was postponed from 2020; thus, we are very much looking forward!

Other travel (domestic) includes a wedding in Dallas, maybe a trip to New Orleans (site of this year’s Final Four), Lake Tahoe for a postponed concert (Train) and who knows what else.  Wherever we do go, I am forever grateful for readers who travel along.  April 2022 marks ten years of Travel with Teri B visiting 38 countries (out of 76 total), and I have loved every minute.


Things I LoveU.S. Travel


savannah 14

When considering where to enjoy a favorite holiday, the beautiful destination of Savannah, Georgia, was unanimously selected.  After three terrific days in Charleston (click HERE ) we continued our family trip just two hours’ away.  This was a first visit for all.

En route, we simply had to go back to a surprise find from the hubby’s and my trip last year (click HERE) especially for son Sam to see.  Magiamo in Hilton Head is “your home away from home” for any fan of The Ohio State University.  Football, basketball and even Cleveland teams are all represented at this fun eatery, a must-see destination.  We were told that folks show up hours in advance for big games in order to view with other rabid fans.  How fun is that??   Below, Sam shares with his followers:  “You cannot believe this place.  OH-IO!”

Accommodations were at The Alida, which enabled us to walk to many spots for both dining and sight-seeing.  Below, the hotel is to the left while the Plant Riverside complex (shops, restaurants, other hotels)  is seen ahead.

Below, the walkway along the Savannah River — which is on the other side of the Plant Riverside building (above).

Savannah could be the most dog-friendly city ever.  I’m fairly certain I saw more people with dogs than with children!  There are abundant parks and pathways for our furry friends.  Our favorite one is seen below (cuteness overload).

Highlights of the many sights enjoyed:

Forsyth Park (in the Historic District – South)   A great number of folks walking around, enjoying the lush grounds.

Congregation Mickve Israel  — there’s a favorite word in Judaism which is “beshert” or “meant to be.”   In this case it was our timing for seeing the synagogue. Although closed, we randomly arrived just when the flowers were being delivered for that evening’s Sabbath service.  The person on duty allowed us to come in for a brief moment to see the inside.  Someone was looking out for us for which we were the grateful recipients.  What a magnificent building — the third oldest synagogue in the U.S.

Birthplace for The Girl Scouts

A truly fun favorite, the Prohibition Museum where these are three of the best signs:

Finally, a few words about this “Fit for Foodies” city.  Two in particular of our restaurants were outstanding — the iconic Olde Pink House (the best fried chicken ever) and an unplanned meal at Sam’s great find, Fleeting at the newish Thompson Hotel.   Not only was the food delicious, but the view (below) from the rooftop bar is a must-see.  And, finally, Leopold’s for ice cream where people have been coming for 102 years.

When one is too busy eating, one must share a photo from Leopold’s Instagram feed above.  If taken during our visit, you’d see the line for as far as the photo goes.  This place and so many others make Savannah a terrific destination.   Can’t wait to go back.

U.S. TravelWining/Dining

Thanksgiving Southern Style

charleston 1a

Our family tradition of Thanksgiving week travel has become something we look forward to with much anticipation.  While everyone gets a vote for the destination, I handle most of the arrangements.  That means accommodations, flights and mostly importantly restaurants!

This year’s journey took us cross country to two of the most coveted travel destinations in the US — Charleston and Savannah.  This is the second visit to Charleston for me and the hubby, after loving our first trip last year.  My post from that trip is accessed here.

First, the travel/flights.  Are we not just bombarded with travel horror stories of late, with many involving cancelled flights?  My happy report is we had absolutely NONE of that (all on American Airlines). It would have gone off without a hitch had my wallet actually contained my driver’s license.  I’ll write about that experience later.  We flew from LA – Dallas for a plane change and enough time to grab dinner, then on to Charleston.  We arrived late, grabbed a readily available cab(!) and off to our waterfront accommodations at the lovely Harborview Inn.  I highly recommend this place for the great location, hospitality, generously size rooms and other amenities along with very good rates.

One of Charleston’s charms is its walkability with streets easy to navigate.  We did rent a car but found that many times it was easier to walk — not to mention getting in those steps to mitigate the food intake.  We repeated a few favorites from last year — visiting Fort Sumter, dining at Leon’s Oyster Shop and worth-the-wait Lewis BBQ, plus seeing Angel Oak Tree.   All of these were enjoyed both for the first time (our kids) and second time (me and the hubby).   We also drove the area to see some of the beautiful and historic homes.

The main trunk at Angel Oak
View from Fort Sumter

Brisk and blistery weather at Ft. Sumter.

For the new experiences, we tried Anson’s and Maison.  Maison is literally next door to Leon’s but couldn’t be more different.  It’s small but with a very cultivated wine list, and the food is top notch French bistro with some twists. The food (top to bottom):  Classic Onion Soup but “en croute” — crack into that baby and out comes the rich soup; classic Steak Fritte; endive salad with apples and pecans; Escargot of course; and a perfect wine to accompany it all.  Mais oui!

Anson (unbeknownst to me when booking) is a sister restaurant to two we will visit in Savannah.  It is partnered with Garibaldi’s and the iconic/renowned Olde Pink House which is on everyone’s “do not miss” list.  As for Charleston, what better way to sum things up than with some visuals!  First up, southern classics at Anson — whole crispy flounder and shrimp & grits.

For this trip, we were able to go inside this amazing and historic synagogue in Charleston — Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim — est 1749.  A new hanukkiah for our Hanukkah candlelighting was purchased and happily used.


If you had to choose a “last dessert ever,” I could easily go with one of these treats seen below from Peace Pie.

Pampered much?  Or am I just jealous ..??

Across from our hotel is the entrance to Joe Riley Waterfront Park with this beautiful fountain seen below.  Charleston has many parks to visit, all part of their Conservancy program.

After a couple of jam-packed days, it was off to Savannah with an important stop along the way.   Stay tuned ..